As adults, most of us can recognize when we aren’t sleeping well or not getting enough sleep. However sometimes recognizing a child sleep disorder is a little harder. Of course every child is different, but there are a certain signs that you should be looking out for if you suspect your child is having trouble getting a proper night’s sleep.
One of the first signs of a child sleep disorder is the inability to fall asleep quickly. If your child tosses and turns for more than a half hour after lights out, then this is not normal. Most children are able to fall asleep very quickly, and if your child is not, then you should consider this to be one of the signs of disordered sleeping.
Another sign that you have a youngster with a child sleep disorder is how they act in the morning. If they are consistently tired or sluggish in the morning, or if they tend to fall asleep during the day, then they are probably not getting enough sleep at night. Although all children will say that they are “tired”, this is quite different. This is a child who is trying to get by on insufficient sleep.
Having a tired child is one thing, but lack of sleep in a child can really lead to other difficulties and health issues. Because their bodies are growing, they need a lot of sleep, and certainly much more sleep than adults. Their bodies rely on that downtime to do the growing and processing that is required for healthy growth. If your child is not getting enough sleep, wakes up often during the night, or is constantly tired during the day, then a doctor will probably diagnose a child sleep disorder.
There are many different ways to deal with sleep issues in a child, but most of them start with changing night time behavior. For instance, most children need to get to bed earlier than they do. If you think back to when you were a child, you were probably not allowed to stay up very late at all. By setting a bedtime schedule and sticking to it, your child will get used to going to bed earlier.
Another way to overcome a child sleep disorder is to insist that your child is kept away from any stimulating activity in the hour before they go to bed. In other words, no computers, no video games, no television, and no bright lights. Let them have some reading time in bed, with just a bedside lamp, and they will fall asleep much easier.
Additionally, one of the problems that both children and adults have with their sleep is light in the bedroom. Although you may not sleep with the lights on, studies show that even the infrared light from your DVD player, your television, your alarm clock, or a cell phone are enough to disturb your sleep. So, make sure that there are no lights in the bedroom and both you and your child will sleep better each night.